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What Can I Do With Plastic Bags?

Rethink Waste Project is a project of The Environmental Center through a partnership with Deschutes County Department of Solid Waste and our local garbage and recycling service providers.

They offer great ideas and tips for reducing, reusing and recycling. Here is a great post all about plastic bags.

Plastic bags. They keep our food fresh and safe, conveniently hold stuff together, and litter the heck out of our land and sea. So above all, the best plastic bag is the one not needed. That being said, despite our best efforts, plastic still comes into our life. It then becomes imperative that we deal with it responsibly.

CAN I RECYCLE PLASTIC BAGS?
No, plastic bags cannot be mixed at our curbside mixed recycling bins (and neither should these things), mostly because plastic film gets caught in the machinery at a Material Recovery Facility and mucks up the whole system. Plastic film, however, CAN be recycled at many grocery stores across Central Oregon. Look for bins usually located indoor or outdoor near entrances.

WHAT IS PLASTIC FILM?
Grocery shopping bags are considered plastic film, and so are a lot of other common products that you’re probably currently tossing in the trash or tossing in hour home recycling bin, unaware of the headaches you’re creating down the line. Here’s a quick list of what you can bring:

  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Plastic shipping envelopes
  • Bread bags
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Case wrap (think case of water bottles)
  • Air pillows
  • Food storage bags (zip-locs)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Product over wrap (like toilet paper for example)
  • Newspaper bags

WHERE CAN I RECYCLE PLASTIC BAGS AND FILM?
When we posted our video on social media, one of the questions was WHICH grocery stores accept plastic bags. Well I didn’t have a recent list so I called around to the major grocery stores around Central Oregon to get an accurate list of which stores provided a bin where customers could recycle their plastic shopping bags. Here is a current list of those stores:

BEND
Safeway: All 3 locations – Westside, Midtown & Eastside
Albertson’s: Both North & South locations
Fred Meyer
Food For Less
Target
Best Buy
Lowe’s

REDMOND
Safeway
Albertson’s
Fred Meyer – at the apparel entrance only
Lowe’s

SISTERS
Ray’s Food Place

LA PINE
Ray’s Food Place (currently no bin out front but they will accept them at their service counter)
Shop Smart

MADRAS
Safeway

PRINEVILLE
Ray’s Food Place

For more information please visit Rethink Waste Project.